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Lehman sells the kitchen sink

CONTENTS from the City offices of collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers have been auctioned off – including the kitchen sink.

The online auction, organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the bank’s administrator, was packed with items from the firm’s office in Bank and a conference facility in Broad Street.

Lehman Brothers went into administration in September last year helping to trigger the world banking crisis which sent the global economy into a tailspin. The downfall has also left hundreds of items in need of a new home. As well as a sink for £50 the auction included £230 for a cutlery set with 1,000 pieces, a set of flip chart stands for £25, while a collection of 125 glasses – including 100 champagne flutes – had a reserve price of just £70. Other items were a dishwasher and three fly zappers.

Lehman Brothers wanted to keep the sale under wraps intending for the name the company to be left off the auction details. But advertisements mistakenly named Lehman – putting the spotlight back on the firm. The bank employed around 25,000 staff including 5,000 in the UK before it went bust after losing billions of dollars in the US sub prime mortgage market.

A spokesman for PwC said: “Lehman brothers didn’t want to publicise the auction because there are 500 people still working there, they didn’t want to upset them.

“The company didn’t want the remaining employees to think their desks were being sold from underneath them because that's not the case. The items in the auction are surplus office furniture, most of it comes from the catering facility.”

Auctioneers Marriott & Co presided over the auction.